In 1957, things are very heated between two Cold War rivals: The USSR, and the United States. They are racing to see who can get to the outer limits of our atmosphere first.
This all changed on October 4, 1957, when the USSR launches a beachball-sized object into orbit. This first satellite was named Sputnik.
Sputnik terrified Americans. They now knew that the USSR had put an object into the upper atmosphere, and were scared that there was nothing stopping them from dropping a bomb. At night, people could see Sputnik's blinking red light from their homes.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade.
Scientists work tirelessly day and night to make sure that the astronauts going to space are safe. Throughout all of this, the Cold War rages on, each side threatening to nuke each other, until finally, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapses, ending the Cold War for good.
In 1969, the first ever people to set foot on the moon were Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. They left Earth on the spaceship Apollo 11, and returned safely. The third astronaut, Michael Collins, stayed safely aboard the Apollo 11, awaiting their return.